We have been saddened to hear of the recent death of our Founder and Trustee, Ann Parkhouse following a period of increasing ill health. Ann, a former maths teacher, played with the orchestra for over 30 years, before arthritis limited her ability to play her main instrument, the oboe, but kept in active touch with members of the orchestra, attended concerts, and even continued to make her famous Christmas cakes as a raffle prize for the players. Ann co-founded the orchestra in 1985, with string player Jean Hickson after meeting on a music course.
A key member of the Committee, Ann served as secretary for 19 years and Chair for seven years, giving many hours to developing and running the orchestra, and encouraging new people to join, or come and listen.
Our current Chair, Amanda Freshwater, like many in the orchestra was incredibly fond of Ann:
“She was so welcoming, interested in people, and very encouraging. She loved the act of making music with others, and would regularly arrange wind groups if not playing in orchestra. She once described how she wanted others to discover the joy and discipline that music brings to your life. She was so right – playing together has been something we’ve all been missing dreadfully over the last year, so when we start to rehearse again, hopefully soon, we will welcome with open arms players and audience members anew to share that joy. We will miss Ann dearly, and pay tribute to all that she did for Letchworth Sinfonia. Our thoughts go out to her family at this sad time.”